It seems like there are more elearning options available every day. There are so many online work-from-home training courses to choose from!
You might be asking yourself, “How do I decide what work-from-home training courses to invest in?” Or “How do I choose the best online work-from-home course for me?” Or even ,“How do I know this course isn’t a scam?”
With so many choices, it can be hard to know which work-from-home training courses will help you meet your goals. And the decision gets even harder to make if you’re not yet sure what your goals are. All those shiny courses can be very tempting, and so many might be screaming, “Buy me!”
We here at Anywhere and Anytime Careers want to help you with your online learning decision-making process. This article and our companion post are guides to help you choose wisely whether you know exactly what work-from-home training courses you want to explore, or you’re still not quite sure what type of business you’d like to start.
We’ll begin with the basics, then explore how you can test the legitimacy of a course and avoid the scams. We'll finish with a quick evaluation of whether a course fits you as an individual. When you’ve finished reading, check out our free Course Checklist for a handy template to help you find legitimate work-from-home training courses that meet your needs. Using this combination, you can be sure not to waste your investment in time, energy, and money.
How do I choose an online work from home course?
There are some basic factors you’ll want to consider before you plunge into evaluating specific online learning resources:
- Your interests and passions. What fires you up? What could you do for hours if you had the chance? What would you love to learn more about? These are perfect areas to explore when you’re not sure what work-from-home training courses might be right for you. Love to write and want to get paid? Blogging, social media management, content creation, or freelance writing might be great options. By the same token, if you don’t love balancing your own accounts, becoming an online bookkeeper or tax preparer probably isn’t right for you.
- Your skills and talents. Just like interests and passions, the things you already do very well could be the perfect path to your freelance career. Take the time to evaluate what you’re great at. Then check out this post, where we talk about this in more detail. If you’re really creative, a dog bakery, graphic design, or Pinterest management career might be wonderful options, for example. Having skills already means a shorter path between you and proficiency. So don’t be afraid to use what you already know.
- What matches your lifestyle? Some work-from-home businesses are a better fit for your life than others. If you have small children at home, for example, a scoping, transcription, or voiceover career will have to fit into the spaces where your children are asleep or otherwise reliably occupied. On the other hand, an email management or digital marketing career might fit very well into smaller pockets of time.
How can I evaluate work-from-home training courses if I’m not sure what I want to do?
Believe it or not, many entrepreneurs are multi-passionate people. Is that you?
Or are you not sure you’re passionate about anything, but still want a work-from-home business?
Either way, you don’t have to go all-in on a whole series of work-from-home training courses in order to figure out what freelance business is right for you.
We’ve got a few options to make things easier while you figure it out.
- Check out work-from-home training courses for free! Yes, you read that right. Here at Anywhere and Anytime Careers, we want you to find the best online learning for your needs. So we’ve gathered a collection of bite-sized samples you can try for free. Sign up for one – or more! You'll get access to freebies that range from introductions to the career to mini versions of the course content. It's your chance to meet the course creator and/or instructors. Even better, they’ll give you a feel for the flavor of the course and/or the career. And all it will cost you is the time to explore!
- Give Freelance University a try. Most online learning options for entrepreneurs are work-from-home training courses. Freelance University is a learning hub. It has over 80 freelancing courses plus additional workshops, webinars, and an active online community. And best of all, you get everything for one very affordable monthly or annual tuition fee.
Not sure what freelance careers you like? Want to explore without breaking the bank? This could be the perfect option for you. And better yet, there’s a 15-day money-back guarantee. So if for any reason you find FreeU isn’t for you, you get a full refund. Talk about risk-free exploration!
- Check out the Fully Booked VA program. Already know you’d love to be a virtual assistant, but aren’t sure yet which services to offer? Are there a few different things you’d like specific training in? This is another all-inclusive program. Creator Gina Horkey began training freelance writers back in December of 2014 as Horkey Handbook. You’ll get access to the Start-Build-Scale system and 6 specific specialty programs. Plus, there’s weekly coaching sessions (additional fee after the first year) and an exclusive online community. You get it all for a one-time payment of $997. You’ll have lifetime access to the course content, so you can scale your business over time and be sure you’re up to date with the services you offer.
Not sure you’re ready for the full commitment? The Jump Start Your VA Business program is only $97. It will help you decide if FullyBooked VA is right for you.
How do I tell if work-from-home training courses are legitimate?
None of us are made of money (which is probably a good thing, because life might be harder in a lot of ways if we were!). So if we’re going to invest in work-from-home training courses, we want to know from the start that we’re not getting scammed, and that the online learning we’re paying for has solid value for us.
How do we do that? Read on for some ideas taken from our Online Course Checklist.
- Get some (outside) reviews. It can be great to read the reviews a course posts on their own site. But remember that they are going to choose the more flattering opinions. Look for reviews elsewhere that give a more balanced perspective.
Here at Anywhere and Anytime Careers, we’ve done in-depth reviews on a number of the courses and programs we promote. We also update these to reflect changes in the courses.
We include a pros and cons section, so you’ll have an idea of the potential drawbacks. There’s a “Who it’s for” section to make it clear whether this is the best course to meet your needs. Where we can, we get images from inside the course, as well.
- Can you find assessments from past students? What do they say? If you want to know if a work-from home training course helps prepare you for starting your own business in that area, it helps to get the opinions of those who’ve gone before you.
Again, you don’t want to just stick with the testimonials on the course’s sales page. We offer many interviews with graduates of our affiliate courses who are using what they learned to grow their businesses. Learn what they loved about the program – and what they wish had been better. You’ll get a peek into their businesses and how the course prepared them. This means you’ll have a better idea of what to expect from the course than you’ll get from reading the sales page.
- Is the instructor willing to answer questions? This can play out in many ways. What you’re looking for is a path to contact the course creator or instructor with any specific questions the sales page, FAQs, or your research don't answer.
If the instructor is easy to find, that’s a good sign that the work-from-home training course is legitimate. As an example, Ben Robinson of Bookkeeper Launch and Tax Bix actually shares his phone number with prospective students! Now that’s accessibility!
It’s best not to invest your money in online learning if you’ve got lingering unanswered questions. Trust your instincts here, and you have a better chance of avoiding scams.
- Is there an opportunity to “test drive” a mini-version of the course? I mentioned our free course page above. It’s filled with work-from-home training courses that encourage potential buyers to find out more. They'll either share something about the career or let you “peek inside” the course. You probably wouldn’t buy a car you couldn’t drive first. So consider seriously whether you want to buy a course if you can’t get a feel for it before you hand over your money.
- Does it have recommendations or accreditations from industry organizations? Bookkeepers.com has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Internet Scoping School meets and promises to stay current with the National Court Reporters Association's definition of scoping. If industry experts or watchdog groups have vetted the online learning you’re considering, that’s a good sign that it’s a legitimate work-from-home training course.
- Does the course have pre-screening or basic levels you need to complete before you can enroll in the complete course? This is more important for skilled work-from-home training courses, such as tax preparation and scoping. For these careers, it’s vital that you possess certain aptitudes to succeed.
Courses that screen potential students steer away those who aren’t a good fit. They aren’t simply looking for the tuition fees. These course creators want their students to succeed, and are honest with those who are unlikely to do so.
- Look for work-from-home training courses that offer a guarantee of some kind. As an example, Bookkeeper Launch has a 30 day, no-questions asked refund policy. Internet Scoping School doesn't have a refund policy. But course creator Linda Evenson adds new content if any student feels something is missing. Students have lifetime access to the course, so they benefit from pointing out ways to improve it.
Other options are a free trial period. This is something Freelance University offers on occasion as part of a webinar or one-time paid training. You can opt-in for a free month, and explore as much as you like. So you have time to see if it’s a good fit, and there are no unpleasant surprises later.
How do I choose the best online work-from-home course for me?
We’ve covered this in far more detail in our Want to Be a Female Entrepreneur article, so you might want to bookmark that to read when you’ve finished this one. =)
Basically, there are a few things to pay attention to when you’re deciding if any specific online learning is the best choice for you.
- Does it fit your budget? This might sound obvious, but focusing on learning is harder when you are worried about whether you can make the course payments.
If your finances are very tight, any work-from-home training courses that are outside your budget may have to wait. Find something that fits with your means, and you can put your focus on the training itself.
- Can you afford to actually start the business you’re training for? The best work-from-home training courses in the world can’t do you much good if you can’t afford the cost of getting your biz up and running when the time comes. Be sure you know about the expenses ahead of time, and factor that into your decision.
Businesses where you'll need high-ticket items to start don’t mesh well with bootstrapping. But sometimes related options are less expensive to launch. Do you want to scope but don't have the funds to start? Consider legal transcript proofreading. It doesn’t have the same equipment requirements, and you can earn money to eventually add scoping to your services.
- Do you like the way the course is taught and presented? If the entire online learning is presented in video, and you prefer written lessons, you are likely going to be frustrated. It’s the same thing if the instructor has a style that annoys you. You’re going to be less open to what they have to say, and it might end up being a waste of your money.
- Can you make the time and energy investments you need to complete the course and start your business? This might require you to look very closely at the realities of your own life. Some work-from-home training courses just aren’t the best fit for your current circumstances, no matter how much you wish they were. In those cases, it’s probably better to choose another course, see if you can adapt your life, or wait for a better time.
Conclusion: You Can Find the Best Work-From-Home Training Courses for Your Needs
It can be confusing to weigh all the work-from-home training courses and choose a legitimate option that’s the best fit for your needs. So take your time, don’t rush the process, and remember to consider these questions:
- What are your interests in and/or skills?
- Is the course a proven performer, or a scam?
- Do you have the available time and budget for this course?
- Does it match your learning style?
Before you go, sign up for our free course checklist, and get our weekly email, too. You’ll learn about our latest posts, how students like you have used work-from-home training courses to build their businesses, find out about special offers, and more!
Do you feel better prepared to evaluate work-from-home training courses? Have questions or comments? Drop them below! Know someone who could benefit from this article? Please share it and help us reach more moms (and dads, too)!